My Dad and his Bucket List

This came to my mind last night again and I want to share this with you. It isn’t a story about an epic climbing trip or traveling to the far ends of the earth. This isn’t a story about a heroic adventure, or pushing the limits in some daring journey. This is a story about the little things in life. It’s a story about family. It’s a story about helping my dad check off one line from his bucket list.

This story started in August 2016 when my husband and I decided it was time to stop paying rent and start building a home. We found an old 1950’s dilapidated cracker box that we thought had endless “potential”. At least, I could see the potential. My husband, on the other hand, needed A LOT of convincing. The closing day finally came, and the work started immediately.

One little problem with the house led to another and by the end, we had nearly re-built the entire house from the ground up. We replaced most of the plumbing and most of the wiring. We tore walls down and replaced every window in the house. We refinished the floors and re-roofed the house. Nearly every free second of my life was consumed with working on our home.

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Harsh Reality of Adventure Sports

My husband and I love to play in the outdoors – snow or shine.  And although we have had many amazing adventures over the past few years, the numerous avalanche fatalities, hiking accidents, and animal attacks this year have been a constant reminder of the inherent dangers of backcountry adventures. So although I am no expert on ‘adventure safety’ here are some things I keep in mind in hopes of ensuring safe homecomings after any outdoor play date.

Invest in good equipment – My husband is a serious gear-head.  If you have a question on outdoor or technical gear he is your man.  And like true technology early-adaptors (not the people that just want to have the new i-Toy just because it’s new and “cool”) his love of gear stems from a passion to see innovation developed with a purpose.

How does this new piece of equipment make my life easier and/or how does it make my adventures safer? When you plan your outdoor adventures. do your research on your equipment and make good investments based on features such as durability and safety.  If it looks good – consider it a bonus, not your primary purchasing point.

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How to Travel 50 Days a Year With a Full Time Job

A couple of days ago, I was interviewed by the Bestgedclasses website on how to how to be successful, without a degree and be able to travel even with a full-time job. When the interviewer asked me how many vacation days I have taken in 2017, including weekends and any days the office was closed for holidays, I realized it was 50.

50 days! In one year I traveled 50 days while holding down a full-time job, freelance projects as a travel writer, and still had a social life at the same time. Had someone presented this idea to me, I would have thought it was impossible in regards to both time and money. But I did it. Take also a look at this great video about how to be smart and work full-time and still find the time to travel the world:

Here’s how the days broke out:

  • 3 days in January to see my in-laws (well, actually my fiance’s parents) in Cleveland over Martin Luther King Day weekend. No time off work needed.
  • 3 day weekend in April for our engagement anniversary in Lake Placid, 1 vacation day taken.
  • 3 day weekend in April to go to Boston, 1 personal day taken.
  • 11 days at the end of May and beginning of June for Iceland and Norway. I used 6 days vacation days and received 1 day off for Memorial Day Weekend, plus 4 weekend days.
  • 2 day weekend in Maine, no time taken off from work.

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Why Taking Nature Hikes Through The City Inspires Creativity

I love combining two or three unlike things into one experience. When you see the world through one lens, it’s harder to feel inspired by it. Or discover creative solutions for it. Let’s say you work in an office and manage spreadsheets and projects. Do you:

  • Simply follow along with routine and ignoring the fact that no one is communicating with each other.
  • Pretend like you don’t notice the server where the project files are is a mess and everyone loses 15% of their day looking for stuff.
  • Never create a one-sheet of how the project was completed and how it relates to your other projects thus providing insight and future time-saving methods.
  • Don’t bother learning to learn how to speak in the creative language the designers use versus the more technical nature the interactive team uses.

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What Would You Create If It Was Your Last Day?

I’ve been wondering why I even want to create anyway. Aside from the fact, it won’t leave me alone at night and it consumes me. Why else? I love it. It’s fun. It’s interesting. But why else? What’s beneath the surface?

Over the years, I ’ve learned I keep setting goals and cresting the mountaintop of those goals only to find I haven’t reached my goal at all. Instead, there’s a dense jungle with jangled footing and a hazy mist. Why am I here? What am I looking for? I was in the office kitchen staring blankly at the teas when it struck me that creativity is so important to me because I want to see the world in a different way. A better way.

I don’t want to see it full of thick unease, glazed expression, lack of fulfillment, void of color, and strewn with pain. I want to see vivid, sparkling evidence that we’re all in control of our own destinies. That we can design our life any way we want.

Without creativity, there’s none of that. Without creativity, we just reach out to the first thing that comes our way that can offer some kind of answer. Whether that answer is comfort or stability or fulfillment.

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Rock Climbing – A Beginners Memoir

One of my great early summer adventures. On a hot muggy June evening, I set out with three other members of Prince George Alpine Club towards Giscome. The rock face we intended to climb was by the side of the road, across from Eaglet lake which lay shimmering invitingly in the heat of the quiet evening.

As we left the city behind I relaxed. The sounds of nature became audible, the swish of wheat in a field, lake water lapping onto the rocky shore and the chattering of birds in the trees.

Just watch this amazing video for rock climbing beginners:

Because Barb and I were beginners we decided to skip the lower rock face and instead climb a few hundred meters up the rocky cliff to a second rock face. Weighed down with long, thick climbing ropes, harnesses, helmets, drinking water and snacks, we were glad to find ropes, someone had thoughtfully left behind, which we hung onto to haul ourselves up against the steep incline.

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Why airlines have trouble turning profit

Q: Why does it cost so much to operate an airline?

A: Moving hundreds of airplanes, tens of thousands of employees and hundreds of thousands of passengers around a vast service network — safely — is one of the world’s most complicated processes.

Think of it as an assembly line in which thousands of pieces must come together at precisely the right time. And each product produced — a trip by an individual — is unique. Altogether, there are about 700 million of those products each year.

The assembly line tools — airplanes, airports and support facilities — are expensive. On top of all that, the assembly line is subject to bad weather, mechanical failures, passenger emergencies in flight, even hijackings, all beyond the operator’s control.

It’s a wonder that fares aren’t far more expensive and that more than 82% of flights operate on time.

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